How Often Should You Take Your Dogs To The Vet?
|Photo: Soft Spot|
Annual wellness exam
In general, all dogs should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. Think of it as routine maintenance for your dog. These wellness exams give you a chance to track your dog’s growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet. Most importantly, annual examinations are a key part of preventative care.
Preventative care is an umbrella term for all the stuff you do to take care of your dog: good nutrition, appropriate exercise, and regular vet care. The idea is that by taking your dog for routine wellness exams, you can make informed choices that benefit their health. You’ll also find out about illnesses or issues early, which can be key in successful treatment.
|Photo: Brandywine Valley SPCA|
During annual wellness exams, the vet will give your dog an all-over check-up. They’ll listen to their heart and lungs, look at their eyes and ears, check for fleas etc. They’ll also update any vaccinations needed. After the exam, the vet may make suggestions for your dog’s nutrition and dental care, or recommendations for activities and medications specific to your pup’s health status.
Birth to one year: vaccinations and more!
When you get a puppy, you become well acquainted with the vet! Monthly wellness exams during early puppyhood are recommended. That’s once every 3–4 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old, following a basic vaccine schedule, as cited by Campbell River Veterinary Hospital.
Here’s a basic vaccination schedule for young puppies.
8 weeks: first DA2PP injection (combined vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo and corona). This one is given in a series over your puppy’s first year.
10–12 weeks: second DA2PP and Leptospirosis injection
14–16 weeks: third DA2PP and Lepto. Rabies is also given at 16 weeks or older.
|Photo: All Friends Veterinary Hospital|
Keep in mind, your puppy’s vaccination needs and schedule may vary depending on your location and your puppy’s health. Work with your vet to establish an appropriate course for your pup. If your dog goes to doggy daycare, they’ll probably get a kennel cough vaccine during this course. Once the vaccine schedule is done, you may not come back until your puppy is spayed or neutered, anywhere from six months to over a year of age.
Adulthood (1–7 years)
According to Brandywine Valley SPCA, after dogs have reached one year of age, they generally just have to visit the animal hospital or veterinary clinic once a year. During this annual vet visit, dogs will have a complete physical to check for any signs of concern.
Additionally, updated booster shots will be given during annual visits as needed. But it is important to note that they can absolutely visit a local veterinarian more than once a year if something is wrong. If your dog is showing signs of pain or illness, it’s important to take them to the animal hospital. This will allow the vet to address the concern right away rather than waiting until their annual visit.
Senior years (8+ years)
Older dogs have more particular health needs and are more prone to illness and age-related injury. For that reason, senior dogs should see the vet semi-annually, approximately every six months.
In addition to the regular wellness-check stuff, your vet may recommend a variety of diagnostic tests for your senior dog. These can include annual blood testing.
Diagnostic tests help your vet assess your dog’s health, and also provide a baseline which future tests can be compared. The results can be super-helpful later on if your dog develops an illness because the vet can go back and see what “normal” looks like for your dog.
|Photo: Pet WebMD|
As your dog gets older, your vet may recommend more frequent visits depending on their health. More frequent vet visits will catch changes more quickly and can give your vet more time to treat issues as they arise.
|Photo: Ascot Veterinary Hospital|
Dogs may require regular brushing, bathing and nail clipping. Some dogs may also require hair clipping. You may do this, or opt to take your dog to a specialist groomer (vet clinics often provide grooming services).
Insurance for your dogs
Vet bills can be expensive, so you might also consider pet insurance, which may assist with financial compensation for various eligible treatments. Trying to find the money to pay for treatment can put a real strain on the family budget. Your pet is a loyal and lovable member of the family, and they deserve the best care available.
| At least 2.000 Animals or Pets That Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 in America |
By November 2020, there were evidences that animals were being infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19). At least 2,000 animals in the ...
| Pet - dog or cat - gets sick, I think it's Covid-19, What should I do? |
What should I do if my pets, including dogs and cats, get sick and I think it's Covid-19?
| Can dogs and cats get COVID-19? |
Can my pet and animal get the COVID-19 virus: While coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mostly spreads from person to person, it can also spread from people ...